Triple Crown Winnings Will Fund Charities

Saturday’s Triple Crown win by thoroughbred American Pharoah could be a boon to the horse racing industry in the coming years but in the meantime, it will also help at least four charities.

Some 90,000 spectators were at Belmont Park in Elmont, Queens, N.Y. to witness American Pharoah become horse racing’s first Triple Crown since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978.

American Pharoah Trainer Bob Baffert and his wife Jill announced after winning Saturday’s Belmont Stakes that they play to donate $150,000 to several horse racing-related charities, according to The Courier-Journal:

  • $50,000 in memory of Bobby Adair, an American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame jockey who died last month at the age of 71, to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a $1-million nonprofit based in Elmhurst, Ill.;
  • $50,000 to the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), an Arcadia, Calif. nonprofit that raises money for retired California racehorses, and last year reported $750,000 in revenue; and,
  • $50,000 to Old Friends Farm, a Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., that last year had revenue of $1.2 million.

The purse for The Belmont Stakes is $1.5 million, with $800,000 going to the winning horse’s team. The team also scored $1.24 million for winning the Kentucky Derby and $900,000 for winning the Preakness Stakes – the two earlier legs of the Triple Crown.

Jill Baffert told Time magazine that $200,000 from a Burger King ad placement – the Burger King mascot appeared in costume in the trainer’s box during the race – would be directed toward causes related to post-career assistance for jockeys and racehorses.

American Pharoah Jockey Victor Espinoza said after Saturday’s race that he plans to donate his Belmont winnings to City of Hope, a cancer research facility and hospital in Southern California. The jockey reportedly receives 10 percent of that payout, with 25 percent of his share ($20,000) going to this agent and 5 percent to his assistant on the track ($5,000), leaving him with roughly $56,000. Espinoza often visits the Duarte, Calif., campus, sharing smiles, gifts and stories of his more than 3,200 career victories with patients, according to City of Hope.

“Good health — that’s what I want for everyone. With good health, people can enjoy life and do those things that make them happy,” Espinoza said. “By working to defeat cancer, City of Hope’s researchers and doctors are bringing a greater chance of health and happiness to people everywhere.”